2019 UPDATE: Traditional
Summers Hanging by a Thread
During the 2017 session of the NC General Assembly, over 50
bills aimed at changing the 2004 School Calendar Law were
introduced . The 2019 session is just getting underway, and
school boards across North Carolina are chomping at the bit
to go at it once again. As of January 9, the Franklin County
School Board and Board of County Commissioners has already
approved a resolution supporting regaining total control of
school calendars. This resolution will now be sent to local
representatives in the General Assembly.
That sounds like a good idea
but it's not, and here's why.
Prior to passage of the School Calendar Law in 2004, the
vast majority of school systems across North Carolina were
opening their doors very early in August. Parents' and teachers'
pleas to have a more traditional school calendar as an option
were being ignored and/or ridiculed. That's why the grassroots
non-profit, Save Our Summers - North Carolina formed, and
why it took the matter to the General Assembly. Be
sure to Click Here for a more complete historical record of
As the law has been challenged every year since its passage,
SOS-NC has been there to advocate for educators, parents,
and other concerned citizens who have needed, not just wanted,
the option of being able to attend a school with a more traditional
calendar. Their arguments were, and still are, valid and solid,
be found at this link.
In 2013, the calendar law changed to provide more flexibility,
which school systems and administrators had been requesting
for years. Changing the attendance requirement from "185
days" to "185 days OR 1,025 hours of instruction"
was a major boon to NC school systems.
The required school start and end dates changed as well,
with the law currently reading as follows: "Start date
no earlier than the Monday closest to August 26 and end date
no later than the Friday closest to June 11 (unless a weather-related
calendar waiver has been approved, year-round school, charter
school or cooperative innovative high schoo). If waiver is
approved the start date can be no earlier than the Monday
closest to August 19."
Provisions are even in place now to grant start and end date
waivers to qualifying low-performance schools. In 2017, The
NC State Board of Education voted to allow 19 schools to take
advantage of this option.
Our state now has choices so that families can decide what
is best for their particular situation. Save Our Summers -
NC is all about preserving a more "traditional"
school calendar as one of those choices. But the School Calendar
Law is under attack. Opponents and their lobbyists are convincing
legislators that this is a "local control" issue.
But there is no guarantee that, given the chance, school systems
would not return to abusing their power. Besides, local control
to Save Our Summers - NC starts and ends at the grassroots
level, not with administrators and lobbying groups.
Please don't be lulled into complacency because the School
Calendar Law has been in place, and has "worked"
for almost 15 years! The option of a more traditional school
schedule for your family could disappear with the swift stroke
of a pen. Let your legislators hear from you. Tell them that
you support the efforts of Save Our Summers - North Carolina
to keep the School Calendar Law intact. Senators and representatives
have shared with us that they are only hearing from opponents
of the law. Please, please help us change that.
is long past the days when it could rely solely on a hand-full
of volunteers working a few months out of the year to carry
out its mission. This grassroots organization now requires
ongoing attention and planning on a large-scale basis. Every
year, we have to play watchdog (in a major way),
present research and data, offer viable suggestions, be present
for votes on the House and Senate floors, and attend committee
and one-on-one meetings. In other words, in order to keep
the 2004 school calendar law from becoming history, SOS-NC
has to stay on the front lines, not only through emails and
phone calls, but by being a regular presence at the General
Also, it is imperative that we continue to keep this website
going, as it is the only place where citizens, businesses,
etc. (both in and out of state) can go for comprehensive information
on NCs school calendar issues.
That is why SOS-NC asks you to consider a contribution. PLEASE
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE AND CONTRIBUTE!